The fourth industrial revolution is currently underway, using digital technology to connect things, processes and people in real time. It radically changes manufacturing processes and services, and the way business is done, adding value through increased speed and efficiency. Companies which do not adapt to it will face difficulties under these new conditions.
This is particularly true for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which often lack the resources to meet the challenge of digitising their operational processes.
The Commission tracks Member States’ digital development via the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI), which has revealed wide disparities in digitisation across EU regions and industrial sectors.
In April 2016, the Commission launched the “Digitising European Industry” (DEI) initiative, which includes the objective of mobilising over €50 billion of investment between 2016 and 2020. This initiative includes support for Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs), revising the legal framework in line with the digital age, and a European platform of national initiatives to digitise industry.
The aim of this audit is to analyse how effective the DEI initiative has been so far, focusing in particular on DIHs and on the support provided by the Commission to Member States. We will interview representatives of DIHs and other project beneficiaries in various EU countries. We will also meet with other national and international stakeholders to assess the effectiveness of the support provided.
If you wish to contact the audit team, you may do so at the following email address: ECAfirstname.lastname@example.org